Kindu Trust Annual Report 2015-16

Our Annual Report 2015-16 includes stories about the people and projects your donations have supported last year as well as our financial accounts. Click on the image below to read the full report.


June at The Kindu Trust

Last Week In Numbers

93 children ate a hot meal at The Kindu Trust
36 toddlers got to play with an exciting range of new toys at Playgroup
10 children used the Kindu library for extra study
8 kids saw the weekend in with the Friday football game
10 families were visited by our Sponsorship team to see how the children are doing

Kindu UK Office Move

The UK office has relocated to a new office in Finsbury Park, London! Our new address is:

The Kindu Trust
225-229 Seven Sisters Road
N4 2DA

IMG_6494We were very sorry to leave our old offices in the Peel Community Centre in Kings Cross, which has now relocated its activities, but are pleased to have moved to another Community Centre, Finspace. We had been at the Peel Centre for 5 years and moved with our sister charity Link Ethiopia to Finspace where we continue to share an office. Thanks to the move we are also able to save on our overhead costs which we are always pleased to achieve!

The building hosts several other small African and local organisations who we look forward to getting to know. The Kindu Trust plans to remain here for the foreseeable future, and not just because we’ve found several delicious Ethiopian restaurants nearby!

Update on the Drought

Since April this year, Ethiopia has experienced it’s worst drought in 50 years, now reaching its peak. The dry spring has turned into traditional ‘lean season’ with occasional summer rains in some regions. They are welcomed with relief by many, but still are not enough to prevent people from suffering from lack of clean water. About 18 million people remain in need of food aid, including 6 million children, many of whom are suffering from severe malnutrition. Farmers are losing their crops and water sources are drying up, which results in families struggling to keep themselves and their animals alive. National and international efforts mean that 5 kg of wheat is currently supplied to each family in the drought zone, however this is only one third of a human being’s nutritional requirement.

June blog

The Kindu Trust’s sponsored families are all based in our project areas in North Western areas such as Gondar, Debark and Lalibela as well as the capital, Addis Ababa in the centre, which means that they have not been affected by the drought. (As you can see in the map above, Gondar is in the light green area in the upper left of the country). However, if you would like to support efforts to find solutions and provide assistance to those affected by the drought, the following organisations currently have appeals that you can donate to:

Save the Children is making an appeal to support Ethiopia with the emergency food aid to supply Ethiopians with all the basic food products they need, to help them go through this extremely difficult period and save lives of many children affected by Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM). Donate to the Save the Children Food Crisis Appeal here.

CAFOD is making an appeal to provide starving families with food. Donations can buy a family either a 100 kg sack of maize, a monthly food basket or 100 kg of wheat seeds for farmers to plant next season. Donate to the CAFOD Food Crisis appeal here.

May at The Kindu Trust

Last Week In Numbers

91 children ate a hot meal at The Kindu Trust
29 parents were taught about early childhood nutrition at the Playgroup
47 children borrowed books from the library
16 kids got together for football on Friday
13 families were visited by our Sponsorship team to see how the children are getting on

Our exciting new project- a football team for the girls!

Kindu klub foot ball 9

This year we want to get our girls playing football! We’ve supported a boys football team for several years, and are very excited to be able to begin a girls team alongside this. The boys have all formed strong bonds and we’d like to see the same happen with the girls.

We aim to give around 20 girls aged between  12 and 16 years old self empowerment and a support network through sport.  The girls are all from disadvantaged backgrounds, with little access to social growth activities. Happily, school enrollment rates for boys and girls in primary/secondary school are largely equal in cities, such as Gondar, in Ethiopia. However, our work with the communities shows us that when school is done, girls carry the burden of the housework; cooking, cleaning, fetching water and firewood are seen as girls’ jobs, while boys are allowed to play. Girls are generally accorded less independence as there is a greater fear for their safety, this means that girls are kept at home without access to outdoor or group play or after-school education or sports clubs while boys are given greater freedom to go out and about at any time. There is also a common understanding that girls will marry and move out of the family to support another family while a boy is expected to get a job and support his family. Therefore, girls’s education is often not prioritised within a family, as the boys’ career is more important, and girls are distinctly more likely to be affected by child marriage.

kindu klub foot ball 2This football team, though a small initiative in itself, will be the first time many of these girls will have benefited from materials, time and resources dedicated to their well-being and happiness. The girls will have a dedicated and professionally trained football coach who will hold training sessions with them twice a week, both building their football and teamwork skills and ensuring their safety. Each training session will be followed by a shower with soap, a hot meal and water. These may seem like common things to us but a shower and soap is not always affordable to these girls and the meal will provide valuable protein after the exercise. 

This football project will help teach the girls teamwork, leadership skills and build their social and support network, as well as to encourage sport as a healthy activity both physically and mentally. Encouraging girls to be involved in sport that the boys also play allows girls the chance to escape gender restrictions, as well as meet in a safe space to communicate and grow.

A full football kit has been donated, so now we are raising money to  fund the balls, coaching, food and water, and a team building activity at the start of the season.

We are currently fundraising for this project! We have received a generous anonymous donation to start it off and need to raise a further £3,000 to support it over the next year. Could your school or community group host a fundraising event to support the Girls’ Football Team Project? Get in touch with us and we will send you a fundraising pack to get you started!

We can’t wait to see our girls on the pitch!

Changing Lives in Ethiopia with Eggs from South Dakota!


Biruk, the boy whose chickens are changing lives

This story touched us this month. A young boy, Biruk was adopted from Ethiopia, and wanted a few things in his new home that were comforting to him.

“He asked for a few chickens because that’s something he was familiar with from Ethiopia; it was pretty normal to have some chickens and he asked for eight,” says Tami Van De Stroet, Biruk’s adopted mother. As his adopted father, Jerome, is a farmer, he decided that Biruk could have more than a few chickens- he ended up with four hundred! Each chicken will lay about 500 eggs in it’s lifetime, and Biruk realised he could make a difference with these eggs. Biruk lived a life of extreme poverty before he came to be adopted, having to beg and look for money on the floor just to buy bread. He didn’t get time to go to school, as he was too busy trying to find enough food to live.

“Biruk said, ‘I want to send it back to Ethiopia to the kids that are like me.’ Who didn’t have enough money to eat and things like that so have food and clothing,”  So now Biruk’s adopted family, under his close supervision, exchange the eggs for donations. So far they have sent $41,000 back to Biruk’s village, Wuchale, in Ethiopia, all of which which goes to help children like Biruk. One small boys big heart is making a difference.

Which just proves Biruk’s point “You’re never too little or too big to start a project.”

Young girl cuddling her chickens!

Young girl cuddling her chickens!

heart egg



Tips for writing to your sponsored child

Writing to your sponsored child is a lovely way of fostering a connection between you, and can help motivate and encourage a child.

Fasika and Enguday 4

Why should I write and how often?

Writing to your sponsored child can be very motivational to them. Not only does it show them and their family that a real person is taking an interest in them, and cares enough to support them, it also serves as a change from their day to day lives. With their experiences often limited to the immediate community, a letter from another country is a very exciting surprise. The children’s lives can be very difficult, with competing priorities such as home duties, health and similar, so knowing that someone wants them to succeed can really help them stay involved with their schooling.

You can write as often as you like, bearing in mind that your child may not be able to reply to the letters. Or you can write annually like your child does, even an occasional letter is enough to let the child know someone is supporting them.

What should I write about?

Start with a friendly hello to everyone, it’s always nice to greet other family members as well as the child. If you’re unsure who lives in the house with your sponsored child, you can email our UK team and they will let you know.

Write about things that may be familiar or of interest to your sponsored child. Think of things that cross cultures, such as talking about your family, any pets, funny stories that have happened during the week. Hobbies and sports that you enjoy, a description of your work or school. If you are celebrating a holiday, tell them your customs, although try to avoid mentioning gifts that may seem extravagant to them or other indicators of economic difference. You can tell them a bit about any work you do, remembering to explain what you do rather than use an unfamiliar job title.

Keep it positive, warm and friendly. If you know that the child has worked especially hard to achieve something, praise them for it!

Consider the age of the child and make sure your letter is age appropriate.

Keep your language simple- remember you are writing to someone for whom English may not be their first language, so try to avoid slang and colloquialisms. Our team will translate messages for children whose English is not advanced to that level yet but idioms can nonetheless cause confusion!

Consider learning a few words in your sponsored child’s language, such as ‘hello’. If you can, learn a little about their customs and celebrations, and ask questions.

Ask some questions about their life, school and hobbies.

Keep your letter fairly short- bear in mind that your life is very different from theirs and it can be a lot of new information to take in. An A5 card is plenty to start, and photos will be welcome. Children often put photos up on their walls at home.


What should I not write about?

Try to avoid things that emphasise the difference between your cultures and lifestyles such as material possessions and money, the size of your home etc.

Avoid suggesting they visit you sometime, as this puts a heavy obligation on the child. Ditto suggestions of you visiting them as this raises real expectations, which may not come true.

Avoid sensitive topics such as death or sickness as this may be upsetting to the child.

Avoid politics and religion! It’s fine to express your faith but choose your wording carefully so as not to influence the child. For example, it’s fine when talking about your weekend to say you went to church on Sunday, but it would not be ok to say that the child should also go to church. The Kindu Trust sponsors children from all faiths – you can check with our team if you would like to know whether the family is religious, and what faith they might belong to – or you can ask in your letter!

It’s fine to be warm and friendly but avoid over familiarity as this may cause offence to the child’s family. For example, it would be inappropriate to refer to the child as ‘your child’, as many of them have existing parental figures who they identify as such. What is a normal expression of affection in one culture is not always acceptable in another.

Don’t include negative questions about why the child or their parents aren’t doing ‘better’. The lives of the children and their families are very different to our own and, though you may have a sense of frustration that the child’s grades are not higher or why the parent does not have a job, it is important to remember that they are living in a very different context with challenges we would often not even be able to imagine! If you have any concerns along these lines please address them to the UK team, they can be very dispiriting for a child who may be trying very hard and create a fear that they will loose their sponsorship support.


What happens to my letter?

Once you’ve written your letter, you can post it to our team in Ethiopia using the following address; Your Sponsored Child’s Name, c/o The Kindu Trust, PO Box 1500, Gonder, Ethiopia. You can use Royal Mail to post it.

Let our UK team know by email and they’ll let the Ethiopian team know to expect it and check the PO Box. 

When your letter arrives, our Sponsorship Team will ring the family to let them know. If they family live in Gondar or Tikil Dingay they will visit our office to collect it. If the family live in an area further away the team take it to them as soon as they can. When with the family letters are translated and explained, the child and family are given any items/photos and the letter to keep. We always take a photo of the child with the letter he/she has received.

Our Sponsorship Team then informs our UK office that the letter has arrived and been passed on and sends the photo. And we send the photo to you to show that your letter has safely arrived and been passed on!

Can I send gifts?

Photographs can add a lovely personal touch to your letter. This can include photos of you, your family, your school or favourite places in your local area – this can mean a lot to the child and expand their knowledge of other countries. (Please remember to avoid certain shots that may not translate culturally, such as photos of people in swimsuits, which aren’t seen in Northern Ethiopia!)

Small gifts like stickers, pencils, paper, ribbons, bookmarks, balloons or other small items that fit into an envelope are fine.  If you want to send something larger, please consider one of our Celebration Parcels. We have a Birthday Parcel for special occasions, full of little treats. Or consider a gift of money so the child can choose something they may need, as well as allowing them to invest back into the local economy. A blog on sending parcels will be coming soon!

Will I get a letter back?

While it is very exciting for a child to receive a letter, we would caution that it is best not to expect one back. For the child letter writing will be a new and unfamiliar experience. Writing materials can be difficult to get hold of, and expensive for children in Ethiopia, and the concept of a pen pal is not known. Going to a post office and getting a stamp would be impossible for most children.

They may also not understand that the tradition is to write back, or to answer all your questions. Children may be very busy, with school and housework and writing in another language is an added challenge. Your child gets support in writing their annual letter to you for the updates, but with a small team we are unable to guarantee time to support every child to write, translate and post a reply – as much as we would love to!  Rest assured the child will be delighted with having received a letter, and will take great joy from it even if you don’t receive a response.

Please also bear in mind that it may take some time for post to go to and from countries! At least 2 weeks is usual from anywhere in the world.

Further help

If you have any concerns or questions, you can get in touch with the UK office who can answer questions. Remember that a letter sent with good intentions will be viewed in the light it was sent in, so don’t be nervous about writing!

Want to sponsor a child? Follow the link HERE


It’s the end of the year…

Well, the end of the financial year anyway, although with the daffodils up, the sun shining and the birds singing, it feels like new beginnings to us here at Kindu. As we enter into the new financial year, we have the opportunity to assess our current projects and begin to implement new and exciting ones as well. All of this is thanks to the generosity of our wonderful supporters, so thank you!

March at The Kindu Trust

Last Week in Numbers

94 children received hot meals
29 toddlers went to playgroup to enjoy toys and have a soapy bath
16 children read books from the library
15 kids played football and had soapy showers
4 families were visited at home

Annual Report Published

For a full update on how all our projects went in our last reporting year, and how many children we supported, you can read our Annual Report. It includes impact reports on our development programs, articles and the financial breakdown of how we use our resources. Our Annual Report 2014/15 is now out and available here

Annual Report 14-15 Front Cover

Fire in Gondar – Our Emergency Appeal

As some of you may have heard, there was a huge fire in Gondar this month. It left over 150 families homeless, including two of The Kindu Trust’s sponsored families.

The fire began at 11pm in the residential area of Arada, near the market in Gondar. The source of the fire is unknown but, taking place at night, families had to flee their houses quickly and leave everything behind.

The area destroyed by the fire contained 165 homes, all basic wood and mud or even wood and tarpaulin structures and all the families living there are disadvantaged. Ahmed and Seyda’s, the sponsored children affected by the fire, are now living in a temporary tent alongside other families. Already impoverished, the fire left them with nothing.

Ahmed with sister 2

The Kindu Trust team arrived at the site quickly when informed by the local authorities and brought all our spare clothes to distribute among the families.

We then began an emergency appeal to raise money to rebuild the homes destroyed and begin to give security and stability back to those affected. We were aiming to raise £ 2,000 overall, which would provide building materials and cover labour costs for rebuilding houses. We were also hoping to exceed this target in order to help furnish the rebuilt houses and make them homes once more. We are delighted to report that we have raised an astonishing £ 6,000 so far! Thank you everyone who donated! We are continuing to fundraise as the more money we receive, the more houses will be built. If you would like to donate, you can do so here.


Skateboarding Empowering the Youth of Addis Ababa

skateEthiopia has a budding skate scene that is helping young skaters develop and better themselves. At the beginning of the movement, there are no skate parks, skate magazines or easy access to skate boards in Ethiopia. Now, in the capital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Skate is connecting the skate kids of Addis to skaters internationally and providing skate equipment and space to young skaters. Building confidence, creativity and community, it encourages healthy activity and can provide an escape from the difficulties of daily life.

An exhibition by Berlin photographer Daniel Reiter recently showed in London, with pictures of the skate youth culture scene that is developing. As he put it so well: “These kids move with unstoppable courage, and if they fall they just get back up again and try again. It’s an awesome way to show the passion and drive of these young kids in Ethiopia. My goal is to really show how simple it can be to bring joy and happiness to their world.”
skate 2


August at The Kindu Trust

Last Week in Numbers

56 children received a hot meal at The Kindu Klub

40 children received a hot meal at the Playgroup

17 children used the Kindu library

13 children attended football practice

Our sponsorship team visited 5 families

Resilient Children Inspire at Kindu Playgroup 


Our UK volunteer is spending two weeks in Ethiopia to get a sense of our work in-country. She tells us about one of her first experiences with The Kindu Trust:

“Every morning a handful of children, some with their mothers, some alone, come to the Kindu Trust Playgroup. It is entertaining to see how the children play with each other, read books and exercise their memories learning numbers or the alphabet. After they play for a while they all wash their hands, sit down and wait patiently for their meals. The Kindu Trust serves them rice or pasta with vegetables and every child gets one egg. The egg is always the special treat to which the children are looking forward. As I am visiting The Kindu Trust for 2 weeks it was one of the first things I did the morning after I arrived to sit down and play with the children. It is amazing how these young toddlers count to ten or know some words like apple, elephant and so on in English. When the kids leave after two hours there is quiet for a moment until the afternoon toddlers and babies arrive. In front of the playground two of the bead making artists settle down on a table outside and enjoy the sun while making necklaces and bracelets.

To my astonishment there was a little girl, only 6 years old, who came all the way from home by herself. Her mother is pregnant and therefore cannot walk her to The Kindu Trust but her will to take part was so strong that this brave little girl decided to walk alone. It was amazing and interesting to understand that children are sooner independent and find their own way through the streets. Again, in the afternoon the children washed their hands after playing, sat down patiently and waited for their food and special egg treat.
To sit with the mothers for the afternoon was very exiting even though I was not able to talk with them as I don’t speak Ahamric, the children bound us together. When the two hours in the afternoon were over, a little boy proved the independence of Ethiopian children to me again. He was not older than five years but came to the Playgroup with his grandmother who was nearly blind – the little boy led her by the hand all the way back to their home. It was very impressive to see how much these two hours of playing and food mean to the children and it proved again how important the work of The Kindu Trust is.”

The Playgroup is part of our extra recreational and education initiatives for our sponsored children which also includes the Kindu Klub for children from 6 years old upwards. The Playgroup has a dedicated Youth Worker who takes care of the children and teaches good nutritional and sanitation practice to their parents. Each child’s visit includes a hot meal, there are weekly baths with soap and clean towels and the transport costs for parents to bring their children to the Playgroup are covered by The Kindu Trust. You can read more about the project here and donate today to support the Playgroup here.

The Kindu Klub visit the Blue Nile Falls

This August we went on another wonderful Kindu Klub trip to visit the Blue Nile Falls, known as Tis Isat in Amharic. This trip is part Children crossing the metal bridgeof the The Kindu Trust’s mission to show impoverished children in Ethiopia the many amazing sites of their country they would not otherwise have the opportunity to visit and was funded through the generous donations of our supporters.

The trip took 150 children, along with volunteers and staff to visit the site in two hired buses. The day included food, chanting on the buses, ‘perilous’ suspension bridges and plenty of people people posing for photos by the falls. You can read a full account of how the day went and see some of the photos on our blog Kindu Klub trip to Tis Isat Falls. Thanks goes to everyone who made this trip possible!

Kindu Klub Trip to Tis Isat Falls!

Children crossing the metal bridge

Children cross the suspension bridge on their way to Tis Isat falls

Three months ago we emailed you to ask if you would help support a trip for the Kindu Klub children to see outside of Gondar and visit the impressive Blue Nile Falls.

And you did!

Your generous donations more than met our target and we are happy to report that the trip has now happened and made over 150 people very happy!

On Sunday 9th of August 138 children from the Kindu Klub, 2 volunteers and 6 staff members boarded two buses at 7:30 in the morning to go to the Blue Nile Falls, known as Tis Isat in Ethiopia. The falls are one of Ethiopia’s most famous tourist destinations but most of our children have never been outside of Gondar so spirits were high and everyone was very excited to travel to Tis Abay, where the waterfall is found.
All groups at the destination
The day began on the bus with the children fed a breakfast of bananas, biscuits and bread. The Kindu Trust football team entertained the children with dance and music, distracting any children from car sickness and making the five hour drive fly by.

The trip was planned for rainy season, to see the waterfall at it’s most impressive, and we were lucky that it fell on a clear, sunny day. Joseph, our UK volunteer, even got his first sunburn! The children had another snack to boost their energy before the exciting walk to the waterfall began. We were accompanied by a guide who taught the children about the history of the area, the buildings and the two bridges which lead to the waterfall.

Speaking of bridges…

The walk over the suspension bridge was especially thrilling for the children. A wobbly walk was enjoyed by some children but many were sacred by the drop. Older children, staff and our volunteers were deployed down the line to ensure all children made the crossing safely and with peace of mind! But as soon as everyone was across we all got to see how breathtaking the waterfall was. As planned, thanks to rainy season there was plenty of water flooding down.

Once all the children had time to admire the falls, pose for photos and generally scramble about in the new scenery we made our way to Bahir Dar for lunch before the return journey home. As a lot of the children had not left Gondar before lunch was a good opportunity to talk about all the different impressions and excitements while enjoying the luxury of a hot meal in a restaurant.

Back on the bus all the children were really happy, singing traditional songs, laughing and talking. Back in Gondar the children were picked up by their parents who will no doubt hear the stories of the Falls for a long time to come!

Thanks to your generosity there is £150 remaining from the trip budget which will be used to take the children from the Playgroup, still too young for big trips, to visit one of Gondar’s most popular tourist sites! The children, aged 0 to 6, will be visiting Fasil Ghebbi, a royal enclosure. Fasil Ghebbi is an enclosure that contains the remains of a fortress-city within Gondar, founded in the 17th and 18th centuries by Emperor Fasilides and home to Ethiopia’s emperors.

Joseph helping a child across the bridge

Our local volunteer, Zenebe, and volunteer from the UK, Joe, help one of the children cross the rope bridge.

Some of the Kindu Klub children pose next to the Blue Nile Falls.

Some of the Kindu Klub children pose next to the Blue Nile Falls.











Children walking to the waterfall

The children walk back to the buses at the end of the day through woodland.

The children settle down to a varied lunch after their exciting trip.

The children settle down to a varied lunch after their exciting trip.







A heartfelt thank you to everyone who made this wonderful and unforgettable trip to the
Blue Nile Falls possible for our children!

July at the Kindu Trust

Last Week in Numbers

68 children received hot meals at The Kindu Klub

37 children received a meal at the Playgroup

19 children used the Kindu library

37 children attended football practice

14 children received English lessons

Our sponsorship team visited 5 families


Our New Volunteer in Ethiopia!

The Kindu Trust is pleased to welcome our new volunteer in Ethiopia, Joseph Carter. Joseph is joining us for three months as a Sponsorship Assistant having spent the last three-and-a-half years working as an analyst in the financial services industry.

“After spending three months volunteering in West Africa in 2014 I was keen to return to the continent to take part in more volunteering projects. I decided I would like to begin my next trip in Ethiopia and my research soon led me to The Kindu Trust. I was immediately won over by the amazing work the charity did in the community and the strong sponsorship network it had created over the last 15 years.

A few months later and I was in country and working with Marta and Aster in the Kindu offices. My primary roles during my three months with Kindu will be to assist the sponsorship team in the day-to-day running of the charity and to assess and evaluate Kindu’s ongoing success.

So far I have helped the team translate field reports and messages from beneficiaries to sponsors and assisted in preparing report packs for sponsors. I have also accompanied the team in the field to visit beneficiaries and to assess the progress of Kindu’s community initiatives, including the Biogas Community Sanitation Project.

In the office I have begun to compile a report based on the results of a recent questionnaire completed by 90 Kindu Trust beneficiaries in which I hope to identify some general trends about beneficiaries’ health, education, income and relationship with the charity.

My highlight so far was the annual Kindu Klub trip which I was lucky enough to be invited to. This year the Klub visited the Blue Nile Falls near Bahir Dar. Despite being in the middle of rainy season we were blessed with a day of sunshine (I got sunburnt for the first time!). Even the five hour trip there and back flew by as the Kindu football team kept the children entertained with songs and dancing from the back of the bus. A great day was had by all! “

There will be more on the Kindu Klub trip next month and big thanks to Joseph who is doing a great job supporting out team in Gondar! If you’re interested in volunteering with The Kindu Trust in the UK or Ethiopia see our pages for more information!

Obama visits Ethiopia

This month Obama became the first acting US president to visit Ethiopia. Many were excited about the visit and we were pleased to note his speech regarding the health and well-being of women and girls in Africa: “The single best indicator of whether a nation will succeed is how it treats its women. When women have health care and women have education, families are stronger, communities are more prosperous, children do better in school, nations are more prosperous.”

In line with our mission to support all children living in poverty equability is fundamental to all our projects and boys and girls are always treated equally. We also recognise the extra obstacles girls often face in this context and our Girls’ educational support project reflects this. We are eagerly awaiting the children’s school results this year and will be providing an exciting update about how the girls’ in the project are doing next month!

June at The Kindu Trust

Last Week in Numbers

112 children received hot meals at The Kindu Klub

80 children received a meal at the Playgroup

40 children used the Kindu library

34 children attended football practice

7 families received medical care

Our sponsorship team visited 15 families


The Kindu Trust has a New Project! 

Old Toilets

Old Toilets

It is difficult for many of us to imagine having to live without a toilet, let alone sharing a community toilet with 70 of your neighbours! However, it is sadly prevalent in Gondar where we witness that many of our sponsored families, who tend to live in poor conditions, often do not have access to any toilet at all or a dilapidated and structurally unsound community toilet. In Gondar town more than 51% of residents do not have toilet facilities, this means that they often use open fields, behind homes, and watercourses instead. With around 60 to 80% of Ethiopia’s disease burden attributable to environmental health risks, which include poor hygiene, inadequate sanitation, and poor access to safe drinking water, toilets and sanitation facilities become fundamental to improving overall health as well as providing basic hygiene.

New Toilets

The Kindu Trust has built community latrines before and we thank all the donors who contributed to providing these facilities for communities. In 2011 we took this one step further when we developed our Biogas project – the first of it’s kind in Gondar. The project provided toilets, showers, hand washing stations, a kitchen and a water tank for a poor community with exceptionally low standard of toilets. The most unique part of this project was the inclusion of a biogas digester, which uses the waste material from the toilets to produce gas and slurry. The gas powers four cooking rings in the kitchen saving local residents the cost of fuel, as well as protecting the environment through a reduced use of charcoal or firewood. The slurry provides fertiliser for growing plants. This facility has now been in use for two years and the local users are delighted with their unique and functional facilities!

Women using the kitchen in our first Biogas facility

Women using the kitchen in our first Biogas facility

For this reason The Kindu Trust is absolutely delighted to announce that we will be extending our biogas project to two other areas which also suffer with extremely poor sanitation facilities. The new facilities will replicate the last, including showers, toilets and a kitchen. We will also be taking forward learning from our first project. In the new facilities we will be installing gas fired injera ovens in the kitchen, as well as gas cooking rings. Injera is an Ethiopian staple food, similar to a sour pancake, which is eaten with almost every meal, therefore being able to cook it in the new kitchen will make the kitchen much more familiar and useful for the local community. These ovens will be available to local small business women who can cook and sell food from here, it is common that women cook food for local bachelors to increase their income and we hope these kitchens will support them with this. The Kindu Trust will also hold enhanced community meetings this time round to guarantee a sense of ownership and real input from local residents throughout each stage of the project. Local authorities are already involved and their involvement ensures a smooth transition to local ownership, and therefore stability, for both the facilities and the 4 job opportunities it will create.

This project is possible due to the support of Partenaires Association to whom we are very thankful. We are very excited to take the project forward and will be updating you as we make progress!

Turds in the Dark! 

This month we wanted to share a local saying with you, building on your new knowledge of the perils of toilet access in Gondar! If someone or something is really annoying you, you can refer to it as ‘a stool in the dark’. This saying was coined because of the problem of open defecation, which is so common in may areas as to be a generally recognised annoyance. According to Ethiopian explanations, a stool in the dark causes several problems: If you step on it, it messes your feet. When you touch your feet to find out what spoiled it, it definitely spoils your fingers. If you smell your fingers to check it further, it spoils your nose.